LUDHIANA : The revised detailed project report (DPR) for the proposed Ludhiana Metro Rail has been approved by the Punjab government. But it is still to be forwarded to the centre for the further follow up action as the state government, as well as the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) have not been able to spell the sources from where the funds of more than Rs 10,000 crore would be raised to translate the dream of metro rail into reality.
Highly placed sources in the Local Government department revealed that the Principal Secretary, Local Government and the PIDB top brass have held a series of meetings to find ways and means to raise the required funds. “But the exercise is still on and a final decision is expected to be taken later this week,” the sources said.
It was learnt that the DPR submitted by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, the officials consultants to the project, had suggested two modalities of funding.
Either the special purpose vehicle (SPV) set up for this purpose raises the funds at its own vehicle in which case the major part of funds will come from the Punjab government and the centre. Partial funding can also be obtained in this case from bank loans.
In the other modality, the project can be handed over to the private sector for execution on BOT (build, operate and transfer).
Senior government officials are of the view that given the precarious financial condition of the government, it would be very difficult, if not impossible for the state government to create resources for the mega project at its own level.
“Any fresh burden of taxes or cess to raise money for the metro rail, will ultimately have to be borne by the urban population which does not seem practicable in the prevailing economic scenario and the compulsions of the coalition dharma,” commented a senior officials on the condition of anonymity.